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Collecting pieces of Minnesota's past for the future


The Minnesota Historical Society preserves and makes available a wide range of materials chronicling Minnesota's history and culture. The goals of the Collections Department are to collect and preserve; provide access and interpretation; and engage in education and outreach. This blog is a tool to share these stories and let people know what is happening in the department.

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"French Suffer Setback by Foe" and "Allied Reserve to Strike Soon" - The Daily People's Press. March 29, 1918

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | March 29, 2018

Maude Kegg, basketmaker and author

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | March 29, 2018

This photo is of Maude Kegg with wiigob for basketmaking, Mille Lacs, 1947. It was taken by Monroe Killy.

Maude Kegg, or Naawakamigookwe (Middle of the Earth Lady), was a renowned Ojibwe artist, writer, and cultural preservationist. She was born near Portage Lake in 1904 and was an enrolled member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. She wrote several books recounting Ojibwe life and stories and, in later years, she worked as an interpreter at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum & Trading Post. Kegg is perhaps best known for her beautiful beadwork.

Learn more about her and Ojibwe history.

"British are Holding Enemy in Check" and "Concert Given by American Soldier Boys in France" - Bemidji Daily Pioneer. March 28, 1918

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | March 28, 2018

Minneapolis Promotional Postcard

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | March 28, 2018

"Minneapolis, Minn., where I'm located you can easily see. Now please get busy and write to me."

While it's a cute rhyme, it doesn't look much like Minneapolis except for the word...

This card is from 1913.

See it in Collections Online.

"Huns Believed to Have Lost 400,000 Men" and "Big Guns Still Fire on Paris" - The Duluth Herald. March 27, 1919

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | March 27, 2018

Night Watchman

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | March 27, 2018

This lithograph is called "Night Watchman;" it was created by Mike Lynch and is undated.

See it in Collections Online.

Volunteering to go Abroad

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | March 26, 2018

This is the first entry in Ingvald Smith's diary. He writes it just a few days after he and a several other men volunteered to be sent overseas to fight. They had been training at Camp Cody In New Mexico since October of 1917 and had decided they were ready to go into war. They had to leave the company they were taining with, as not the entire company was being send to the front. Smith seems excited about the prospect of going to fight, and realistic about the horrors he will inevitably face. He is clearly proud to have the opportunity to serve his country during these trying times.


My Experience
in the World War
March, 1918
Tue. 26
A few days previous to this date four men in my company namely Harold Lee, Herbert Haltke, Robert Reisdorf, and myself volunteered for overseas service the request being granted by Major M.L. Higbee commander of our battalion. The organiation which we are about to leave is Co. B. 135th Inf. 34 Div. We departed from this place in route to France in the evening leaving behind Camp Cody N. Mexico at which place we had been in training since Oct. 15th 1917.

Citation: Ingvald Smith Diary. Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, Minnesota. P1754

Student Activism

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | March 23, 2018

This photo is of students urging voters to vote for the school funding issue in February 25, 1964 election.

Frances Densmore

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | March 22, 2018

Ethnologist, musician, and author Frances Densmore was born in Red Wing, Minnesota in 1867. Her professional interest was in Native American music; she spent her life traveling the country and recording on wax cylinders nearly 2,500 songs of the Dakota, Ojibwe, and other tribes. Her recordings are preserved at the Smithsonian; her papers are at MNHS. These images are of one of the books she authored and a gramophone she used to make recordings dated 1897.

See her papers in the Library.

Seditious Material Warning

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | March 21, 2018

This memorandum was directed toward the 88th Division, then stationed in Camp Dodge, Iowa. It warned of seditious material, mostly in the form of listed religious books and newspapers, that were being distributed to the men. It was likely feared that certain religious material would encourage conscientious objection among troops. The memorandum orders unit commanders to search for this material and, if found, send it and the names of the men who held it to the Division Intelligence Officer.

March 21, 1918.
To all Organization Commanders.
Considerable printed matter of seditous character is being received by enlisted men. Examples of the class of literature being received are: "The Finished Mystery", by Pastor Russell; "The Bible Students monthy", published in Brooklyn, New York; and "Statement of Special Conference of the Church of the Brethern to the Churches and the Drafted Brethern", and others.
Unit commanders will conduct a through inspection into all personal effects, bedding, ect., of men in their command as early Monday afternoon, March 25th, as practicable, take up all literature of this nature that is found and forward it to the Division Intelligence Officer, together with the names of the men from whom the matter is recovered.
Commanders will consult with the Intelligence Office, telephone 156, in case any doubt exist as to whether any particular publication should be confiscated.
By command of Brigadier General Getty;

Citation: U.S. Army, 350th Infantry Regiment, Co. G, records 1917-1919. Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, Minnesota. BG6/.U584/350th